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Gospel doctrine Lesson Five

Born Again
Cultural Note:

The Pharisees were a select
group (there were never
more than 6,000 of them at a
time) who had each made a
sacred covenant that they
would devote every moment
of his entire life to obeying
the Ten Commandments.
Since these commandments
are given in rather general
terms, the Pharisees spent
their time studying them and
applying them to daily life.
They recorded their beliefs
and rules in a book called The
Mishnah. In the Mishnah the
simple commandment of
‘Keep the Sabbath day holy’
was expanded to fill 24
chapters of text. The Talmud
was created to help explain
the Mishnah. In the Talmud
there are an additional 156
pages written about how to
keep the Sabbath day holy.
Thus, to the Pharisee,
salvation was the work of the
individual. Because of this
Nicodemus thought the
person did all the work. What
Jesus is telling him is in fact
God does all the work.

Purpose: To help
class members
understand that to
receive everlasting
life, we must be
“born again” and
continue to follow
Jesus Christ.

In what ways are you a
Nicodemus, trying to earn your
way into heaven?

“Jesus doesn’t make up
the difference. Jesus
makes all the difference.
Grace is not about filling
gaps. It is about filling
us.” Brad Wilcox

Compare our physical birth to our spiritual birth. In the second column, write the
spiritual equivalent of the temporal event listed on the left.

Physical Birth

Spiritual Birth

When birth occurs a new mortal
life is begun

The child is endowed with the
characteristics of his father

The child receives his father’s
name

The child has the potential to
become like his father

A child’s physical body receives
nourishment from his parents.

“Mere compliance with the formality of the ordinance of baptism does not mean that a person has
been born again. No one can be born again without baptism, but the immersion in water and the laying
on of hands to confer the Holy Ghost do not of themselves guarantee that a person has been or will be
born again. The new birth takes place only for those who actually enjoy the gift or companionship of
the Holy Ghost, only for those who are fully converted, who have given themselves without restraint
to the Lord.” Bruce R. McConkie, Mormon Doctrine, p101.

Line upon Line

Read John 4:34. Jesus said
that obedience to the will of
the father filled him. In what
ways have you noticed that
you are filled and/or satisfied
through your own obedience to
our Father in Heaven?

Thought Questions

1.  In what ways can you
identify with the
woman in this story?
2.  What does this
encounter reveal about
Jesus’ attitude toward
those who sin?

3.  When have you felt
the Savior’s love for
you?

Read John 4
As you read the story of the
woman at the well, notice the
progression of her testimony.
She begins in v 9 by simply
calling Jesus, “A Jew”. In v 11
she refers to him as, “Sir”. In v
19 she calls him, “a prophet”.
And finally, in v 29 she refers
to him as “the Christ”. What
things did the woman do to
move her testimony forward?
How has your own testimony
grown, “line upon line”?. What
things can you do to continue
strengthening and expanding
your own testimony of the
Savior?

A very important part of this story is often missed. Read it again carefully.
After her encounter with the Savior, what did the woman forget? She
forgot her jar! The heavy burden that she carried day in and day out was
left at the feet of the Savior. The shame that accompanied her to the well
was forgotten and in its place was a new purpose…to tell the world that the
Messiah had come. How does the woman’s response to the Savior and his
teachings inspire you? What can you do to lay your burdens at his feet?
What can you do to spread the word that the Messiah has come?